|Instant Messaging is an Internet service provided by numerous competing providers in which end users have a "contact list" (or buddy list) of their friends and colleagues. You can always see in real time if your friends are online and then send them a message which pops up on their screen right away.
The biggest proprietary IM providers are Aol Instant Messaging (AIM), ICQ ("I Seek You", get it? The first IM system, AOL bought them.), MSN IM, and Yahoo! IM.
Jabber is an attempt to turn IM into a "real" Internet standard along the lines of e-mail!
Last updated: Jul 22, 2002.